* (arkady) wrote in london_070705,

Birmingham city centre reopens

Birmingham city centre has now fully reopened following last night's evacuation, with people now allowed back into their homes.

A total of 20,000 people were evacuated from the city centre; Broad Street entertainment district and the Chinese quarter were shut down, and the A38 inner ring road into the city was also closed to traffic by a West Midlands police exclusion cordon.

Four controlled explosions were carried out on a bus in Corporation Street near the Square Peg pub last night, although officers said the item destroyed had not posed a threat.

At 0500 BST on Sunday bomb disposal experts declared that a suspect package at the Travelodge hotel on Broad Street was not a "credible device". The device concerned was apparently a box with wires hanging out and a switch on top that was found to be empty.

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said the cordon around Broad Street and the Chinese quarter had now been lifted, and people evacuated from their homes were free to return. Most had spent the night either with friends or else in emergency accommodation provided at Aston University where blankets and pillows were provided for people to sleep in two auditoriums, but most said they were too anxious to rest.

(Sources: BBC, Sky)
Tags: birmingham, news
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